Let’s Face It: Pugs Make Weird Noises! Find Out Why!

Pugs are a breed that is known to have a lot of character. They often show off their personality from some of the strange and funny noises that they make. After all, they are often referred to as clowns of the canine world for good reason. But, why do pugs make weird noises?

Pug noises can include whimpering, growling, barking, amongst others. These sounds are typically used to convey their feelings, intentions, and used as a way to communicate. For instance, it could be a signal for wanting something, a general show of delight, or even an indication of a health issue.

While owners may find most pug noises to be quite amusing, it is still important to keen note of them when made in a negative manner. Sometimes, this can be an indication that they are in pain and potentially suffering from an underlying medical condition. It’s crucial that you can differentiate these noises to better cater to your dog.

Why Do Pugs Make Weird Noises?

Generally, a lot of unique noises associated with the pug is due to them being a brachycephalic breed. This means they have a flat face and a short nose. These features can affect their breathing, and in turn, their ability to regulate their body temperature during exercise.

This is why panting is very common in pugs, since they need to work harder in order to cool down. Excessive panting should be an indication to owners to stop and rest. Provide your dog with plenty of water and move into the shade before resuming play. During hot days, it may be advisable to stay indoors with the air conditioning on.

Pugs are also known as speed eaters, and it’s not just because of their love of food, but their short noses also plays a part. Their lack of snout means that it’s not their to obstruct them when eating out of their food bowl. Being able to eat so quickly also means they inhale a lot of air in the process.

So what’s that got to do with pug noises? Well, the excess air needs to be expelled one way or another. That means burping and farting are some common sounds to expect out of a pug. Additionally, speed eating can result in irritants getting stuck in the upper airways, which can result in snorting and gagging noises. This is typical of a condition known as reverse sneezing, but more on this to follow shortly.

Health Concerning Noises

Pugs may have breathing difficulties when overworked, but they shouldn’t struggle to breathe when in a relaxed state. If this is excessive and noticeable, it might be time for you to seek veterinarian advice for your dog. Issues like this are likely to be related to their elongated soft palate or stenotic nares causing blockages in their passageways.

The palate is the soft tissue that’s situated at the back of the roof of the mouth. Because it is elongated in most pugs, it partially blocks the airflow, thus limiting their breathing. Stenotic nares are nostrils that are closed or narrow, and is another contributing factor if a pug is struggling to breathe. A vet may choose to operate on the pug if necessary, and this can be resolved through surgical means.

Reverse sneezing is another issue that involves sounds of snorting and gagging. In a reverse sneeze, the air is pulled inwards, making a congested sound. As mentioned, it is caused by inflammations of irritants in a pug’s nasal, sinus, or pharyngeal passages. This is an involuntary reflex to remove allergens, dust, and other irritants that are stuck in their upper airways.

Most cases of reverse sneezing aren’t serious and won’t require any treatment. It usually lasts for 30-60 seconds at most, and will stop once your dog exhales through its nose. You can usually help by briefly covering their nostrils and massaging their throat, which will hopefully force them to swallow the irritants. Avoid the use of irritating cleaning products, smoke, dust, and allergens to prevent reverse sneezing.

Lastly, if your dog is coughing in a way that emits a honking noise, it might be due to an infectious respiratory disease that’s known as “kennel cough”. All dogs can contract the infectious cough, but pugs are more prone due to having longer soft palates. That’s because this makes it harder for them to expel bacteria through phlegm.

Treatment may not always be necessary for kennel cough if the symptoms are mild. Owners will just need to provide their pug with plenty of rest, food, and water. They are likely to recover without any intervention within 3-6 weeks. More severe cases will usually involve antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, especially if there is a risk of the condition developing into pneumonia.

Why Does My Pug Make Screaming Noises?

Whether it’s in the form of a viral video or in real life, pugs are infamous for their scream. However, it should be noted that this isn’t befitting of their character since pugs are generally quiet dogs. They can scream for a variety of reasons, but one shouldn’t assume that it’s solely because of pain or trauma.

Although screaming is commonly associated with things like fear and anxiety, the way humans interpret screaming may not directly translate in the canine world. For instance, a pug screaming can signal extreme excitement. While we can’t always pinpoint the exact meaning behind a pug’s scream, it is crucial to be aware of the common causes.


Many pug owners attest to this situation. Watching television confuses pugs, as it sometimes plays a trick on their senses. They can register the images and hear the sounds, but can’t pick up any scent or smells. However, this can still be enough for them to recognize things like dogs, animals, and cartoons. In reaction, they may scream out of frustration, excitement, and even confusion to the moving pictures.


You might think that your pug is just being an attention seeker by screaming when they’re bored or left alone. Sad to say, but this is likely a sign of a disorder that’s known as separation anxiety. Pugs were bred to be more naturally dependent; so while they make great companions, they are also very clingy.

When neglected for extended periods of time, they may develop such behavioral issues. Screaming and crying out for attention will be the result of this. In order to fix this, owners need to spend enough quality time with their pet each and everyday.

This may include playtime, walks, and other forms of exercise. Training and grooming is also another great way for you to bond with your dog. Scheduling time aside for your pug is crucial in developing a healthy relationship. This might mean making some sacrifices during your free time before or after work.

Pain & Trauma

Pain or trauma can cause a pug to scream. Although, sudden injuries will usually sound more like a yelp. For example, if you’ve ever stepped on a dog’s paw, you will know that it is very painful for them. They will let you know with a loud sharp yelp. When accidents happen, make sure you check your pet for gashes, bruises, and broken bones.

Pugs can also scream out of fear, especially when they’re being groomed. To put it simply, they especially hate getting their nails trimmed, and will scream in absolute fear. There are many viral videos that show just how dramatic they are about this! They best way to prevent this is to start the grooming process early to get them used to it. Always be as gentle as possible.

Pug Barking And Grunting Noises

Just because pugs are quiet doesn’t mean they are not vocal. After all, barking is considered to be a dog’s way of communication, and each bark represents a different meaning and expression. Here are a few common reasons why a pug might bark.

  • Greetings – A hello bark is a warm welcome bark your pug gives when you walk in after a long day. The bark is usually loud, with the dog showing excitement while it runs towards you. Your dog’s characteristics determine this trait, and some dogs will remain silent.
  • Playful – Pugs may also bark when you play with them; this applies to most dogs. Your pug could even bark out of the anticipation of playtime or when you pull out their favorite toy.
  • Territorial – Most dogs are known to be territorial, and pugs are no different. It’s a trait that is ingrained in them, so when a stranger is within the confines of the house, you will likely notice barking from your pug.
  • Stress – Pugs bark more when induced in a stressful situation, but this depends if they have been adequately socialized. The pugs barking might even be triggered by household equipment such as vacuum cleaners, coffee grinders, or other loud equipment. Early exposure to a social environment from puppyhood might help reduce cases of stress barking. A well-socialized pug will tolerate newer environments without pressure.
  • Obsession – Pugs have a quiet nature about them. Therefore, obsessive barking is not part of their character. Dogs sometimes bark repetitively, especially when doing a repetitive task or movement. For example, in case your pug is running around a circle chasing its own tail. That shows it has developed an obsession with what it’s doing; obsession barking should not be confused with excessive barking.
  • Frustration – When a pug is frustrated, they are more likely to let off a grunting noise rather than a bark. For instance, if they want to go outside to play but their owners aren’t complying, they may let you know of their frustrations. Also, if your pug is routinely fed, they will let you know around that point of the day that it’s feeding time by grunting. This is especially the case if you’ve been slow to do so.

Related Questions

What sounds do pugs make? Pugs make many amusing and strange noises due to their short muzzles. Whether they’re awake, asleep, or playing; you might hear them snorting, grunting, snoring, yelping, yawning, wheezing, and breathing loudly.

Can a pug talk? No, pugs cannot talk but they can be vocal in how they communicate. Especially when wanting something or frustrated, they will let their owners know with a unique set of sounds. It’s very endearing and seems as if they’re trying to talk to you.

Is it normal for pugs to sound congested? Yes, this is quite normal as pugs are classified as a brachycephalic breed. This means they have short muzzles that can make it hard for them to breathe. Often, they may feel congested and let off snorting noises.


Nesbitt, M., 2020. My Pug Keeps Making a Honking Noise.

Wag Walking, 2020. Why Do Dogs Make Pug Noises.

Recent Posts